BOX SCORE

Freeport 12 North Yarmouth Academy 6

F- 7 5- 12
NYA- 4 2- 6

First half
23:24 NYA Holt (unassisted)
19:14 F Driscoll (free position)
17:33 NYA Holt (unassisted)
14:26 NYA Tran (Sharp)
11:43 F K. Tracy (S. Tracy)
10:08 F S. Tracy (E. Whittier)
9:17 F Driscoll (free position)
5:48 F E. Whittier (free position)
57.1 NYA Jackson (Holt)
47.7 F Driscoll (S. Tracy)
12.5 F S. Tracy (free position)

Second half
23:58 F Dirusso (Levesque)
19:38 NYA Holt (unassisted)
17:07 F S. Tracy (Havey)
15:35 F Driscoll (unassisted)
14:34 F S. Tracy (free position)
9:18 F K. Tracy (Dirusso)
6:58 NYA Sharp (Holt)

Goals:
F- Driscoll, S. Tracy 4, K. Tracy 2, Dirusso, E. Whittier 1
NYA- Holt 3, Jackson, Sharp, Tran 1

Assists:
F- S. Tracy 2, Dirusso, Havey, Levesque, E. Whittier 1
NYA- Holt 2, Sharp 1

Draws (Freeport, 13-7)
F- S. Tracy 13 of 19, K. Tracy 0 of 1
NYA- Holt 6 of 14, Tran 1 of 5, Sharp 0 of 1

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Ground balls:
F- 39
NYA- 37

Turnovers:
F- 17
NYA- 21

Shots:
F- 27
NYA- 17

Shots on cage:
F- 23
NYA- 10

Saves:
F (Williams) 4
NYA (Merrill) 11

YARMOUTH—Freeport’s girls’ lacrosse team has unfinished business this spring.

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And while the Falcons’ focus is on being the last team standing come June, their April debut was pretty impressive Thursday afternoon at Lewis Field.

Facing a North Yarmouth Academy squad that is also in the mix for the Class C title this spring, visiting Freeport overcame a slow start, then showed just how dangerous it already is.

While hinting at how unstoppable it could be when everything comes together.

NYA shot to a quick 3-1 lead behind two goals from senior standout Maggie Holt and another from junior Vy Tran, but junior Kate Tracy and senior Savannah Tracy scored to tie it, then senior Megan Driscoll’s free position put the Falcons ahead to stay.

Freeport was up, 7-4, at halftime, thanks to goals from Driscoll and Savannah Tracy in the final minute of the first half, then pulled away in the second half.

After Falcons freshman Lana Dirusso and Holt traded goals, Freeport scored four straight to end all doubt and went on to a 12-6 victory.

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Driscoll and Savannah Tracy both scored four times as the Falcons dropped the Panthers to 1-1 and got their season off to a fast start.

“Last year is what motivates (the girls),” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “The goal is obviously to get back (to states). I think they learned from last year’s mistakes and they’re ready to push.”

Singular focus

Freeport came agonizingly close to winning the championship last spring, dropping a 9-8 decision to Waynflete in the Class C state final. This year’s Falcons squad is hungry and determined to get back to states and win the title that eluded them last season.

“Last year still stings, so we’re super-motivated,” said Savannah Tracy. “We didn’t have our sophomore season (due to COVID), so this is our last year and we’re really psyched. We’re determined to do as well as we did last year, but do better at states.”

As for NYA, it got the Molly Moss-Stokes Era off to a great start last Thursday, rallying to stun visiting Waynflete, the reigning state champion, 10-9, in an overtime thriller on Holt’s goal.

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Last year, Freeport won, 13-10, at NYA.

Thursday, on a 47-degree, cloudy and windy afternoon, the Panthers sought to beat the Falcons for the first time since a 17-16 overtime victory in the 2019 playoffs, but instead, Freeport made it three in a row in the series.

NYA junior Angel Huntsman is hounded by Freeport’s Skylar MacDonald (18) and Megan Driscoll early in the Falcons’ 12-6 victory Thursday. Hoffer photos.

NYA came out strong and had the first look, but Falcons junior goalie Piper Williams denied Tran in the first minute.

Holt then gave the Panthers the lead with 23:24 to go in the first half, scoring unassisted.

Freeport countered and drew even, as Driscoll converted a free position, beating NYA junior goalie Jess Merrill, with 19:14 on the clock.

After a turnover, Holt raced in and finished unassisted with 17:33 showing to put the hosts back on top, then Tran took a pass from senior Emma Sharp and scored with 14:26 to go to make it 3-1.

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But that proved to be the Panthers’ highwater mark.

With 11:43 left in the first half, Savannah Tracy set up Kate Tracy for a goal and with 10:08 remaining, Savannah Tracy scored for the first time, from Ellie Whittier, to tie the score.

Moss-Stokes called timeout, but it didn’t help the home team.

With 9:17 to play in the first half, Driscoll’s free position gave the Falcons the lead for good.

Whittier then scored on a free position with 5:48 left.

Freeport senior Savannah Tracy finds some operating room. Tracy would score four times and dominate the draw circle.

NYA snapped a 13 minute, 29 second scoring drought when Holt fed senior Lila Jackson for a goal with 57.1 seconds showing, but it would be Freeport closing the half strong, as Savannah Tracy won the ensuing draw and set up Driscoll for a goal 10 seconds later, then, with 12.5 seconds on the clock, Savannah Tracy converted a free position to put the Falcons up, 7-4, at the half.

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Freeport had an 8-4 advantage on draws and a 14-10 edge in shots. Five saves from Merrill kept the Panthers within hailing distance.

NYA hoped to rally in the second half, but the Falcons never let up.

Just 62 seconds in, Freeport’s freshman connection of Dirusso (from Mia Levesque) produced a goal.

NYA senior Maggie Holt races into the offensive zone.

Holt pulled the Panthers back within three with 19:37 to play, fighting through the defense to score unassisted, but the Falcons answered and pulled away.

With 17:07 on the clock, after a turnover, senior Kyla Havey scooped up the ball and fed Savannah Tracy for a 9-5 lead.

With 15:35 remaining, Driscoll scored unassisted.

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Savannah Tracy added a free position goal a minute later and with 9:18 to play, Dirusso set up Kate Tracy for a commanding 12-5 advantage.

The Panthers would score the final goal, as Holt set up Sharp with 6:58 left, but NYA would draw no closer and Freeport went on to a 12-6 victory.

Freeport celebrates its season-opening victory Thursday.

“It feels really good to come back together as a team and have that bond,” Driscoll said. “This game really shows that we can power through and play the game we can play. We talked through what our issues were and our team put it all together.”

“We showed up at the field ready to go and we’re still missing two starters,” said Wood. “We’re not at full strength yet and we haven’t practiced yet as a full team. It was a little sloppy at the beginning, but we pulled together. We just had to clean up the passing and catching. We had to get everyone used to playing in different positions and used to who was out there. We forced turnovers and got ground balls and capitalized and went to goal and it was good.”

The Falcons’ prolific offense was paced by four goals apiece from Driscoll and Savannah Tracy.

“Savannah is just so smooth, so calm, so awesome,” Wood said. “She picks up ground balls and doesn’t panic. She does a little of everything. Megan does a great job coming around the crease, being a leader on attack. She doesn’t have a power shot, but she does a good job moving the goalie.”

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Kate Tracy added two goals, while Dirusso and Whittier both scored once.

Savannah Tracy also had two assists, while Dirusso, Havey, Levesque and Whitter tallied one apiece.

Freeport won 13 of 20 draws, with Savannah Tracy converting 13 of 19 opportunities.

“It’s a point of pride to win draws,” Tracy said. “We have a special bond in the draw circle.”

The Falcons had a 39-37 edge in ground balls (Savannah Tracy led the way with 11, while Dirusso and Kate Tracy each collected seven), enjoyed a 27-17 advantage in shots (23-10 on cage), overcame 17 turnovers and got four saves from Williams.

“We work on defense in practice,” Savannah Tracy said. “If we can turn the ball over, we know we’ll do well on offense.”

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For NYA, Holt led the way with three goals, two assists and 11 ground balls. Jackson, Sharp and Tran also scored and Sharp had one assist.

Merrill made 11 saves.

The Panthers turned the ball over 21 times.

“It was not our day,” Moss-Stokes lamented. “I think we just got in our own heads and lost composure. Nothing was connecting. We reacted to some calls not going our way and couldn’t turn it around. It was a learning moment and I think we needed it. There were so many turnovers and the 50-50 balls were huge. We were able to win them last week, but not this week.”

Thinking Greely

NYA looks to bounce back next Wednesday, when it goes to Greely, a Class B state finalist in 2021.

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“The schedule stays tough,” said Moss-Stokes. “We’re excited to play Greely.”

Freeport plays its home opener Wednesday of next week, versus Fryeburg Academy, then goes to Greely, a recent nemesis, the following Saturday.

“We’re definitely ready to make a run,” Savannah Tracy said.

“We just have to work really hard in practice and bond together as a team,” said Driscoll.

“I want to play Greely tight,” Wood added. “Every year, I think we can play with them and for some reason, they get a bunch of goals on us. I want it to be close.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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